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In Appreciation

December 21st, 2011

Mr Chiots and I live in a small town and we love it. Every week when we head in to town we chat with the friendly folks at the Post Office, the library, and the bank. We appreciate each every one of these people, sure they’re working and getting paid for what they do, but they do their jobs well, which makes our lives a little easier. The librarians know what kinds of books we like and will save new ones out for us. The post office will add any additional postage I forgot and just let me know how much I owe the next time I come in, and the ladies at the bank give Lucy treats in the drive thru.

Because we appreciate how well they do their jobs, we like to show it during the holidays. Every year I make a few batches of caramel corn and Mr Chiots heads in to town and passes it out. After the first year I knew I could never stop because I started getting questions around Thanksgiving about the caramel corn. One of the guys at the post office even tried to get me to start a business selling it so he could buy it all year long. Since everyone loved it so much, I’ve been doing ever since, which I think has been 5 years at least. Yesterday I spent the evening baking up four batches and packaging it up. Today Mr Chiots will head in to town to show our appreciation!

Do you make anything to hand out to neighbors and others during the holidays?

A Deep Sense of Appreciation

March 15th, 2011

I think the biggest reason I encourage people to take an active role in their food production is because it helps bring a deep sense of appreciation for good quality food. I was thinking about this yesterday as I was storing all of our maple syrup in the basement pantry. We put a bunch of it up in these little one cup jars to give away as gifts. As I wiped down this jar I started to think about the amount of sap that went into producing this small jar of syrup. It takes 6.25 quarts of sap to make one cup of maple syrup, at least with our non-sugar maple sap.

Mr Chiots and I have always been mindful of waste, trying our hardest to not waste food, but once you work hard at making something like maple syrup, you see the value in it and you make sure not a tiny drop is wasted. You see first hand the amount of work that goes into it, from drilling the taps, to collecting the sap, to straining it, boiling it down, straining it again, and bottling it.

I also am more appreciative of those that take the time to produce good quality products that I can’t grow/make myself. I’ll never roast my own coffee, but I sure appreciate that Al takes the time and effort to micro roast it so I can enjoy the best coffee. I don’t have a milk cow, so I appreciate that Mike and Dawn take the time to bottle up delicious creamy raw milk for us to drink. I don’t have chickens, and I sure to appreciate that Martha takes the time to let them out each morning so they can roam free and lay the most delicious eggs.

What product that you grow/make do you appreciate most? Is there a product someone else produces that you really love?

Spreading Some Holiday Cheer

December 15th, 2010

Growing up my mom always made tons of Christmas cookies, caramels and other goodies and sent a big plate full to each neighbor. We’ve done something similar since we moved in here. I’m not much of a cookie maker when it comes to the holidays, I prefer chocolates and other things like caramel corn. We also don’t stop at the neighbors when spreading delicious holiday cheer. We take goodies for everyone at the Post Office, the library and our small town local bank. Of course we live in a small town, so each of these place only has 4-7 employees.

I enjoy doing this because it shows all those people that we talk to each week that we appreciate the service they provide and that they go out of their way to do their jobs well. The ladies at the library will hold new books for us that they know we’ll like, our UPS man always delivers our packages in great shape and always has a treat for the Chiots, the friendly post office workers are always ready to chat, and the ladies at the bank always have treats for the Chiots in the drive-thru.

Do you hand out any kind of goodies to neighbors and other people like the mailman?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.